PANIC IN THE AIR AT CULTURE COMPANY
PANIC has gripped the Culture Company as it fast approaches its very own 'D' Day - November 6th.
That's when The Harbarrowboy will be revealing to an unsuspecting world exactly what is happening in 2008.
A great big posh do has been organised at St George's Hall for Monday night when the great and the good will be invited to congratulate all concerned on how fantastic everything is and pat themselves on the back.
But in the run up to 'D' Day (short for Debacle, ed) the Culture Company are running around like headless chickens in ever decreasing circles trying to get things sorted out.
Everything else has taken a back seat as every chief cook and bottle washer is enlisted in the glorious pursuit of making 'Jase' look good.
Of course if he cocks up and fails to impress the world, then the vultures will start circling big time. His neck is on the line.
So you can imagine the tears, tantrums and foot-stampings going on in the Pleasuredome at Millennium House as we speak.
So what great announcements can we expect from the Harbarrowboy on November 6th?
Will McCartney make it as part of the 2008 line-up? (Not if Heather takes him to the cleaners, ed)
Will U2 appear? (What have they got to do with Liverpool? ed)
Will Madonna be a material girl?
Will Alan Bleasdale be commissioned to premiere a new play?
Will there be a mini World Cup contest between Everton and Liverpool and Europe's greatest teams?
Will we see Madame Butterfly staged on the Mersey?
Will Cirque de Soleil's spectacular Beatles production be lured from Las Vegas (why didn't we get it first anyway? ed)
And so on and so forth.
All these questions and more will finally be answered on Monday night.
Some things of course, are certain.
The Culture Company will stick their logo on everything that is happening anyway and try to pretend it is one of their own 'once-in-a-lifetime' events.
And there will be a massive re-packaging exercise (more smoke and mirrors, ed)
So look forward to 'the biggest and best ever' Mathew Street festival (already happening, ed)
A world class Clipper race (already happening, ed)
A towering Tall Ships festival (ditto, ed)
What will be left of Robbing Archer's plans is anyone's guess. Probably nothing.
But watch as The Harbarrowboy tries to take the credit for all the existing cultural events which are already being organised by the city's existing cultural institutions and partners.
And examine closely just how many world class 'firsts' are coming to Liverpool the year after next.
No doubt there will be some welcome additions to the cultural programme for 2008.
Not even the Culture Company could have failed to deliver anything new.
It will be interesting to see precisely what added value they will be bringing to Liverpool in 2008 after the millions of pounds of public money spent so far.
Whether the 08 programme will live up to its constant spin as the best ever European Capital of Culture remains to be seen.
And we doubt whether there will be anything of substance to ensure that 2008 changes Liverpool for good and has a real impact on the lives of Liverpool people.
Nor, we forecast, will there be a comprehensive, rigorous and sustainable programme of community involvement and engagement.
But there will be lots of fireworks, balloons and razzamatazz for the great and the good at St George's Hall on Monday. So that's alright then...